The procedure of appointment of judges and any proposal for its modification should be in public domain, the central information commission (CIC) has held.
The CIC said this while directing the Supreme Court to disclose communication exchange between chief justice of India and the law ministry on the question of proposed changes in appointment procedure for judges.
"The procedure of appointment of judges or any proposal for modifying that procedure should necessarily be available in the public domain so that the citizens know what is transpiring among the major stake holders, in this case, the Government of India and the CJI, in respect of such a vital matter as the appointment of judges to the High Courts and Supreme Court of India," chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra said in an order.
Rejecting the arguments of the Supreme Court that the information related to judges' appointment cannot be disclosed as there is a stay, the commissioner said a distinction needs to be made between the process of appointment of an individual as a judge and the procedure for making such appointments.
The case relates to plea of activist Subhash Agrawal seeking disclosure of Law Ministry's draft of revised memorandum of procedure of appointment of judges in higher courts and the related exchange of communication between the then chief justice of India K G Balakrishnan and the law minister.